short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Meeting People in Boston

One of the things Mommy does to make an income is write books. This means that Mommy occasionally has to go somewhere to meet with a potential publisher. So, when Mommy was teaching that summer in Middlebury, Vermont, she made an appointment with Harry, a representative of a Boston-area publisher for a book she was working on.

Apparently, this was to be one of those memorable meetings—memorable because of all the things that went wrong. Part of it was Mommy's bad luck—that seems to happen a lot, and part of it was that Mommy failed to get all the details she needed about the trip—that seems to happen a lot, too.

The first detail that Mommy missed was the weather report for the day in question. It was a long walk to the bus station, but it was mostly downhill. It would have been okay, except that it rained very hard that day. Worst, Mommy overslept, so she ended up jogging to the bus station with a computer in her backpack in the pouring rain. That slowed her down a little and made her out of breath a lot.

The second detail that Mommy missed was the location of the bus station. Actually, she knew where the bus station was and went there—but it was the wrong bus station. She wondered how on earth there could be two bus stations in a town half the size of Podunk.

Mommy ran over to the other bus station—literally. She knew she had missed her bus, but she thought there might be another one that could get her to Boston on time.
As it turned out, her bus had not yet showed up. Mommy was happy. She should not have been. That was not a good sign. The bus finally came, and every town it came to on the way to Boston, it got later and later. Mommy's bus pulled into Boston very late.

The third mistake Mommy made was in not getting a telephone number where she could call Harry if problems developed. All she knew was the name and address of the hotel restaurant near the bus station where they planned to meet. She ran from the bus
station to the hotel, hoping that he would still be there.

When Mommy walked in the door, she realized her fourth mistake. She had forgotten to ask Harry what he looked like. There were lots of men in that hotel restaurant.

Mommy went from one to another, asking, "Are you Harry?"

One man she asked stood up and said, "I could be if you would like me to be." Mommy decided that she would not like him to be.

Mommy did find Harry eventually. She also met a lot of other people whom she had not planned to meet.

Conclusion: There are better ways to win friends and influence people than to ask people if they are Harry.

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading.


  1. Thanks. It was a bit disconcerting/surprising when it happened...

  2. This is a great story :) Look on the bright side:
    Not only did you find Harry but you got a free workout and shower without ever having to enter a gym. Never say Boston doesn't roll out the red carpet for it's visitors!

  3. Ah, yes, good ol' Boston! It was the nearest big city to my little NH village and Maine town when I was growing up. I was back recently; post-big-dig, it looks quite different.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.